DTAB recommends ban on Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac for Animal

During a recent meeting, the Board decided to ban the production and manufacturing of Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac for animal use.

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Last Updated on December 31, 2023 by The Health Master

DTAB Recommendations

The Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) has taken a significant step towards safeguarding animal health and the environment by proposing the formation of a sub-committee.

This committee will thoroughly assess the potential risks associated with drugs that can impact animal health or the environment, and subsequently present its findings to the Board for necessary action.

During a recent meeting, the Board decided to ban the production and manufacturing of Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac for animal use.

Examining the Issue:

In response to a request urging the prohibition of these two drugs for livestock treatment in order to preserve vultures, the Board acknowledged the importance of proactively addressing the matter.

It emphasized the need to compile a comprehensive list of drugs that can adversely affect animal health or the environment.

Consequently, the Board recommended the establishment of a sub-committee to conduct a detailed examination of these concerns and deliver a report to the Board.


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Danger to Vultures:

The representation highlighted the toxicity of Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac in cattle, asserting that they are equally harmful as Diclofenac and capable of causing vulture mortality.

Research has revealed that Aceclofenac rapidly metabolizes into Diclofenac, while Ketoprofen poses toxicity risks to gyps vultures.

Expert Consultation:

The matter was referred to the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, to obtain expert opinions.

After thorough examination and consultation with subject experts, the DAHD recommended imposing a ban on the veterinary use of Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac to protect vultures.

DTAB’s Decision:

Having deliberated on the issue, the DTAB reached a consensus to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and distribution of Ketoprofen and its formulations, as well as Aceclofenac and its formulations, for animal use.

Historical Background:

Approximately fifteen years ago, Diclofenac was banned for veterinary use by drug regulators due to its detrimental impact on certain vulture species.

Subsequent studies have indicated that other Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), such as Aceclofenac, have similar consequences.

Aceclofenac, for instance, metabolizes into Diclofenac in certain mammal species, posing the same risks to vultures as administering Diclofenac to livestock.

Research Findings:

In 2022, researchers from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Uttar Pradesh and others published a study stating that Aceclofenac is toxic to vultures and behaves similarly to Diclofenac in domestic water buffalo and cattle.

The study recommended an immediate ban on the veterinary use of Aceclofenac across countries inhabited by vultures.

Impact on Vulture Population:

The use of Diclofenac, primarily for treating injured and dying cattle, has led to a decline in the population of three Gyps vulture species in India and other South Asian nations since the mid-1990s.

When vultures consume carcasses of animals treated with this drug, it results in kidney failure, visceral gout, and death.

The study also identified NSAIDs like meloxicam and tolfenamic acid as safe alternatives for vultures.

However, other NSAIDs such as ketoprofen, nimesulide, carprofen, and flunixin have proven to be toxic to captive vultures.

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